Thursday, April 25, 2024

Leonardo DiCaprio on Scorsese’s “Wolf”: “This is the Director’s Cut”


Last night Leonardo DiCaprio’s mom was in the audience at the Ziegfeld Theater for a brief, but informative Q&A with the star of “Wolf of Wall Street” as well as editor Thelma Schoonmaker and screenwriter Terence Winter. Director Martin Scorsese was somewhere between the Berlin Film Festival and scouting locations in Asia for “Silence.”

DiCaprio– who’s in a hard charging race for Best Actor with Matthew McConaughey and Bruce Dern–drew in a full crowd including about a hundred or so people who paid just to see him and didn’t stay for the screening of “Wolf of Wall Street.” (Most had seen it, and had just watched Scorsese’s Oscar winning “The Departed.”)

Will DiCaprio win the Oscar? He’s turned into an excellent campaigner, and one who can express the sentiment of his movie and how it was made very articulately.

Moderate Kent Jones asked Leo about the great scene in “Wolf” where Jordan Belfort invites the FBI agents onto his massive yacht floating in the World Trade Center marina.

“Jordan tries to slightly blackmail him [the FBI agent] in his own way,” Di Caprio said. “We asked how much do we want to push this?…This movie comes from… no matter what anyone thinks of it, ultimately it is a rare film nowadays. I really want more films like this to get made in today’s world. It’s a reflection back to movies of the 70s that I was so influenced by and so moved by…the director was able to put their vision on screen without too much interference.  This is the director’s cut. This is the culmination of artists that got together ans aid this is the movie we want to do.”

Thelma Schoonmaker: “The actors were very brave in this movie. I can’t believe some of the things Leo did!”  [Ed. note: We’ve tried, but it’s difficult in a G rated column. But maybe you’ve seen the movie.]

DiCaprio: “I always feel like I’m a kid. I’m going to get my foot in the door and run with it. I’ve been making movies for 26years, and I’m almost 40. In the middle of it is this collaboration with Marty. I can’t put into words what I’ve learned from him.”

By the way, Schoonmaker did talk about shooting the key sequence in the film– when DiCaprio as Belfort has to slither across a parking lot into his sports car, high on Quaaludes. Schoonmaker– who I can’t believe was not nominated for an Oscar this year– says Scorsese shot it only as a ‘master shot’– with no closeups– meaning it was just one long tracking shot and very wide. You never see Leo’s face up close or any angles inside the car. It’s just from left to right, as DiCaprio does maybe the best acting of his life.

“He was dead right,” said Schoonmaker. “The humor is there. It’s just great. And Marty knew.”



Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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